Questions? Write Me at

Questions? Write me at fullcirclegardener @ cableone . net.

Vertical Gardening: Supporting Heavy Veggies

I am a huge fan of vertical gardening.  It allows me to grow much more in my garden without taking up more area of the yard.  In May I planted my garden using structures to expand the usable space and then in July I started 'trellis training' my mini-pumpkins & cucumbers.

I did not provide a structure for the jack-o-lantern pumpkins that I planted and they have taken over most of the open space in the back and west side of the garden as well as anywhere else they have wanted, including sharing the tomatoe cages with the tomatoes.  About a month ago I noticed a small pumpkin hanging out the side of one of the tomato cages.  Since the pumpkins hadn't set any other fruit that I could find, I left that pumpkin hoping for a smiling face on my front steps later this fall.  Recently I have noticed that the pumpkin is getting so large and heavy that it is beginning to pull on the plant and I'm afraid it will damage the plant soon.  This week I pulled out another section of the old t-shirt I used to tie up the vines when I was trellis training and created a sling for the pumpkin to rest in as it continues to grow.

To create the sling, I tied one end to the tomato cage, cradled the pumpkin in it, and then tied the other end onto the cage as well.  I will have to keep an eye on both the pumpkin and the sling to be sure that the pumpkin doesn't out grow the sling, but it will support the size and weight of the plant for now.  Also, I will check on the pumpkin to be sure that the it isn't pushed too hard against the structure so it changes the shape or even grows around it!

I hope you are enjoying some of the benefits and challenges of vertical gardening this year.

Happy Gardening! :)

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